By Wilson Mulinda
Government and the European Union have signed a 33 million Euros grant for the Increased Access to Electricity and Renewable Energy Production Project – IAEREP.
Minister of Energy Matthew Nkhuwa says Government’s target is to have 91 percent urban and 51 percent rural electrification by the year 2031.
Mr. Nkhuwa says the grant is a sign of private sector confidence in Government’s development agenda.
The Minister said rural electrification reduces poverty and vulnerability, adding that the support by EU could not come at a better time.
He was speaking during the launch of the IAEREP demonstration project.
Meanwhile, EU Ambassador to Zambia Jacek Jankowski said massive investments in renewable energy is key to achieving the target of taking electricity to rural areas.
Mr. Jankowski said the EU is convinced that rural electrification is a plus to Zambia’s social and economic development.
He said the EU will continue supporting Zambia to produce clean and safe renewable energy.
And Secretary to the Treasury Fredson Yamba said innovation and commitment will contribute to the attainment of the set target.
Mr. Yamba said the treasury pledged to continue supporting the Ministry as the National Authorizing office.
And a Renewable Energy Expert Simon Taylor said 9 million Zambians are living without electricity, and the project targets to electrify 4 million people.
And, Rural Electrification Authority REA Chief Executive Officer Clement Silavwe said the authority looks forward to working with all stakeholders for successful implementation.
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